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When Joann Formosa and Worldwide PB won their gold medal at the Paralympics, it really was a dream come true for this amazingly determined rider, who had found her perfect equine partner with the help of Horsezone.
Joann and the 17 year old stallion were one of the last combinations to enter the arena for the grade Ib Individual Championship, but they were cool under pressure and went on to score 75.826%, to grab gold ahead of Lee Pearson from Great Britain. Lee had been unbeaten at the Paralympics since 2000.
How Joann met Worldwide PB...
Wind back the clock to 2011 and Joann, together with Julia Battams – EA’s National Performance Director for Paralympics- were still searching for a suitable horse to partner Joann in her quest to make the 2012 Paralympic Equestrian Team. Worldwide PB’s owner at the time, Claire Seidl of Tennyson Stud, suggested to Julia that she had the perfect horse, which was advertised for sale on Horsezone. The photos, videos and information included in the Horsezone ad helped them decide that this really could be the one for Joann and the rest, as they say, is history!
Horsezone's Jo Johnson caught up with Claire Seidl in London, where she was supporting Joann, to find out more about Worldwide PB and how he and Joann met...
"Worldwide was advertised for two years in magazines and on other sites," said Claire, "We had very few enquiries as everyone thought he would be too hard to handle being a stallion and that he was too old - he looks fantastic not old!"
"Joann only purchased Worldwide in November 2011 and it shows what a special horse he is to adapt and perform so brilliantly in such a short space of time. I have always trained classically with a huge importance on the foundations and I believe the depth of his training has helped him perform so well in his new role. Olympic gold at their debut international competition is outstanding!"
"Formerly a FEI horse, Worldwide is so in tune with his rider and you can see the immense concentration on his face, he has a heart of gold and the greatest work ethic. We always knew he was a diamond and I was expecting a young rider to purchase him and win all the FEI young rider competitions. We had some seriously daft offers for him and now I am so happy we waited until we found Jo."
"Joann rode Worldwide twice last year and after the first ride, we sat around our kitchen bench and she said, 'I am going to win GOLD at the Olympics on him'. Then she pulled out her laptop and explained that Lee Pearson was the man to beat and showed me every youtube video of him. I was in awe of her determination! It shows that determination and belief are very necessary to fulfill such an amazing dream. My husband Mike has also been adamant that she was going to win gold."
"Here in London, Joann rode beautifully - she rose above the pressure and hype and performed a flawless test to win the gold. Julia Battams is to be highly commended in her role as Paralympic coach, the difference between Joann's riding at the final selection trials in May at SIEC this year and her riding in London is unbelievable."
"I am coming home to reassess my aspirations as I know I have talent in Tennyson Stud paddocks, which I just need to mould into champions. Worldwide has stamped his foals, they all have his superb temperament, work ethic and liquidity of movement."
"Mike and I are so proud of both of them and I have been so blessed to have trained Worldwide for five years. We know that Jo and Worldwide have many wins left in them and wish them all the success in the world. We are thrilled that we came over to London to support them, as it was the most amazing day of our lives and had us both in tears."
We also look forward to watching Joann and Worldwide go on to many successes in the future. If you are keen to nab yourself one of Worldwide PB's progeny, be sure to check out the Tennyson Stud listings on Horsezone. If an older, more experienced horse is what you're after, Claire also has the beautiful Rolex (pictured right) for sale who is a Grand Prix level Warmblood gelding.
Amazingly enough Worldwide PB wasn’t the only horse that made it onto the 2012 Paralympic Equestrian Team, who was found on Horsezone! We are proud to say that Hannah Dodd’s lovely mare, Waikiwi, was also sourced via Horsezone. Read more about Hannah and Waikiwi.
Congratulations to Joann on her achievement and we are proud that she and Worldwide PB, and indeed Hannah and Waikiwi, have gone on to such success after finding each other on Horsezone. Read more about Joann and Worldwide PB’s performance in London
Horsezone looks forward to match making many more superstar horse and rider couples in the future!
Photos: courtesy of Claire Seidl
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